Crime: Vigil after knife attack – investigation into motive

Crime: Vigil after knife attack – investigation into motive

Was the attack on members of the anti-Islam movement Pax Europa an Islamist act? The police are continuing to investigate. A total of seven people were injured in the attack in Mannheim.

After the knife attack on the market square that left seven people injured, the people of Mannheim want to send a message: a cross-party alliance is calling for a vigil today. The initiators want to form a human chain in the city center under the motto “Solidarity against violence, hatred and incitement”.

“We want to hold a quiet meeting without slogans and flags,” said Green City Councillor Gerhard Fontagnier to the “Mannheimer Morgen”. The vigil is supported by a broad political spectrum from almost all parties represented in the city council, the initiators said.

The occasion is a meeting of the Young Alternative Baden-Württemberg. The AfD’s youth organization is also calling for a vigil on the market square in the afternoon under the motto “Remigration would have prevented this crime!” A spokesperson for the city administration confirmed that registration has been received.

Perpetrator has not yet been able to be questioned

After the arrest warrant was issued against the perpetrator and a house search, investigators want to find out more about the 25-year-old’s motive and how he planned the crime. So far, the man, who was born in Afghanistan but has lived in Germany since he was 15, has not been able to be questioned – he was also injured in the minutes after the attack.

He is accused of attempted murder, as the Karlsruhe public prosecutor’s office and the Baden-Württemberg State Office of Criminal Investigation announced on Saturday. He has not previously come to the attention of the police; he is married, has two children and lives in Heppenheim, Hesse.

In the attack, the man injured six men on Friday morning at an event organized by the anti-Islam movement Pax Europa (BPE) on the market square in the city center, including a police officer, who was critical of Islam. The officer was put into an artificial coma and his life was still in danger on Saturday.

Faeser announces tough action – Nehammer also reacts

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) and State Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) announced tough action against people who glorify the perpetrator’s attack online. “Glorifying the murderous knife attack is disgusting and inhumane. Anyone who does this must be prosecuted with the full force of the criminal law. Our security authorities are consistently pursuing this,” Faeser told “Bild am Sonntag”.

Strobl told the newspaper: “Here, crimes – especially murder – are punished with the full force of the law and not celebrated.”

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer called the images of the knife attack a sad testimony to where extremism leads. “We will never accept violence, regardless of whether it comes from the left, the right or from the Islamist environment,” he told “Bild am Sonntag”.

Targeted attack on critics of Islam?

One of the injured is BPE board member Michael Stürzenberger. According to treasurer Stefanie Kizina, the attack was specifically aimed at the 59-year-old Munich resident, who has been an active critic of Islam for years and is being monitored by the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Stürzenberger has since given a right-wing conservative media a video interview from his hospital bed – he had been stabbed to the face and thigh, among other things. Police officers provided first aid, he said. Even after the knife attack in Mannheim, the BPE plans to appear publicly at further events. Kizina assumes that the police will “tighten security measures”.

Source: Stern

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